Mukudzei Chingwere in Zvishavane
FC Platinum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
ZPC Kariba . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0
NORMAN MAPEZA moved a step closer to another Premiership coronation with a comprehensive victory over legendary coach Sunday Chidzambwa as his closest rival Tonderayi Ndiraya watched from the terraces at Mandava yesterday.
Veteran striker Charles Sibanda scored twice in the first half and Mkhokheli Dube weighed in with another to give Pure Platinum Play a 3-0 lead at half- time. That was how it ended at full time.
The result leaves Pure Platinum Play on top with 63 points, three ahead of fellow platinum miners Ngezi who play Bantu Rovers in Bulawayo this afternoon.
And Mapeza believes the race is still on.
“It is still game on, we have to concentrate on our games, I cannot say we are on top because other teams will have to play tomorrow (today),” said Mapeza.
“Pressure is mounting now but the most important thing is we collected maximum points.
“First half it was brilliant we did very well. We have to keep on working hard we are still believing.”
Ngezi coach Ndiraya came to Mandava on a spying mission but must have left Zvishavane under pressure after he was dislodged from the top.
But he can reclaim pole position courtesy of a superior goal difference if he wins today against already relegated Bantu Rovers.
But FC Platinum deserve their place at the top after a confident show from the start.
Midfielder Winston Mhango was the first to try his luck from range when his shot inside the opening three minutes missed the target by a few inches.
The Zvishavane miners surged ahead in the sixth minute when veteran Sibanda capitalised on poor communication between ZPC Kariba goalkeeper Tendai Hove and his defence.
Three minutes later the miners were threatening to run away with it, former Dynamos defender Gift Bello flighted a cross to an unmarked Dube but the latter blasted the effort over.
ZPC Kariba who literally have nothing to fight for looked like a team resigned to walk away empty handed at Mandava.
Save for Limited Chikafa who was their beaming light and set up Talent Chamboko who in a horrendous show fired the ball over.
FC Platinum doubled their lead in the 35th minute when Dube headed home a corner kick by Mhango.
Three points were almost in the bag for the miners when Sibanda completed his brace with a low free-kick just outside the box two minutes before the breather.
The miners somewhat removed the foot off the pedal after the breather knowing that the game was settled.
Stephen Appiah did well to halt Rodwell Chinyengetere 10 minutes after the breather to keep the scoreboard respectable.
Mapeza made changes to protect what he had in the bag bringing on Raphael Muduviwa for the offensive Chinyengetere.
Gerald Takwara also replaced double scorer Sibanda to add steel into the midfield.
Chidzambwa’s horror show was almost confirmed later on when he replaced the veteran and industrious Chikafa who could not carry his legs to the end.
“We made three blunders in the first half and we got punished,” said Chidzambwa.
“Most of our guys did not play well. This kind of performance leaves a lot to be desired.
“We need to improve. If you wear a football shirt you have to play football and today the guys were disappointing.”
FC Platinum: W Magalane, I Nekati, G Bello, K Moyo, L Moyo, W Mhango, R Chinyengetere (R Muduviwa 72), N Masuku (B Muzondiwa 88), A Sadiki, C Sibanda (G Takwara 78), M Dube
ZPC Kariba: T Hove, B Zuberi, M Kunyarimwe, A Chiveya, S Appiah, T Munyanduri, D Chakupe (F Zekumbawire 58), T Chamboko (L Fiyado 86), N Tigere, R Manuvire, L Chikafa (B Nyamuzihwa 86)